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HomeOpinionsShilpa Shetty, the poster child of publicity, now seeks privacy!

Shilpa Shetty, the poster child of publicity, now seeks privacy!

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Dr Sudhir Bisht
Dr Sudhir Bisht
Former CEO, Adjunct Professor, author, independent columnist & life-long learner| Religious Beliefs- Vedant darshan, Bhagavad Gita| Economic beliefs: Capitalism with strong regulatory framework

It has been said that relationship should be between two people and NOT the whole world. I want to add that those who thrive on publicity, good or bad, can not realistically expect privacy when they need it most.

I have some sympathy for all those who are gored by the horns of public gaze. However this seems ironical that our Bollywood stars who crave for publicity all their lives, start advocating for privacy whenever they are boxed into a corner, due to their down doing.

Shilpa Shetty, a nearly-retired actress but a long-lasting Diva, has been asking for privacy. Her husband, Raj Kundra, who often tagged along with her on The-Kapil-Sharma-Show and some other programs, has been in police custody for the past few days. He may soon be tried for various ALLEGED offences that may range from making porn films to committing fraud on small-time actors by tricking them to act in diabolic quick flicks, without their being in their senses. These are allegations of course and no formal chargesheet has been filed yet.

Shilpa Shetty has asked for privacy from her fans and has asked people to ‘refrain from commenting based upon half-baked information.’

Her appeal is understandable. Who would want to be trolled when one is down and out? Her husband is being charged for making porn when she thinks that he was creating high-class erotica. Instead of bestowing upon Raj an Oscar for fine arts, our law enforcing agencies have taken him into police custody.

Should her appeal for privacy be respected by the people who are trolling her? Ideally, yes. We should respect everyone right to privacy. But in the real world, it is just not possible. Do not those who live by sword, die by sword? If Shilpa has thrived on the rich servings at social media luncheons, she should expect leftovers to be served to her once in a while. She has the right of refusal of course.

Shilpa Shetty belongs to Bollywood that is notorious for exploiting women, and now even men, for bringing in titillating, alluring and tantalizing elements in a movie even if the storyline has no need for doing it. So if the movie is about the life of medical doctor serving in a remote village, the movie director, using creative liberty, will throw in a dream sequence with the heroine wearing a white saree and getting wet all over in a rain sequence.

The film units of Bollywood films go all over the town to promote their films. The hero and the heroine would go to the laughter shows and the chat shows and the dance shows and to the news shows to promote the film. They would talk about the movie on their Instagram and Twitter platforms and insert the dance videos on their Facebook wall. The publicity doesn’t stop here and new means of interest generating techniques are deployed by the Marketing team.

The heroine may accuse the director of forcing ugly dance steps to harass her. On another occasion she may accuse her live-in partner of domestic violence and go to the town about it. In the absurd world of faking news to generate controversy, the hero may spread stories about the male director having a crush on him! Looks so ugh? Of course yes. But am I exaggerating? Hell, not much!

When film folks use every opportunity and every means at their disposal to generate news about themselves, do they have any right to privacy? A Superstar’s daughter who is click-happy and posts a pout and a prank on her Instagram every week. She does so to satisfy her own vanity. She doesn’t want to remain her Dad’s daughter but wants to show that she exists as a standalone person, a mini star in her own right.

She is on cloud nine if her followership gives her a Thumbs Up but gets massively upset if a few of them troll her and term her ‘ugly’. She then starts to ask for privacy and her Dad also joins her by appealing to people to respect the ‘little girl’s privacy’

Is privacy a much abused word? Yes, I say. When one’s life depends upon Likes, Shares, and Comments, is it realistic to expect people to let your private life remain private.🤔

Shilpa Shetty is not known for any real histrionic talent and yet she is admired by a lot of real fans. I assume that her 70 lakh plus followers on Twitter, are all organic acquisitions. Why do 70 lakh people follow her? Because Shilpa is incredibly beautiful and people just cannot have enough of her. Her posts are lapped up by men who may secretly dream about being on a date with her and women who may want to check out what the secrets of her maddening success and mass adulation.

Shilpa hasn’t done badly in the glamour business and she keeps endorsing products of all kinds to make lots of money. She doesn’t just use the traditional media avenues like the ad films on TV or still-ads on newspapers, magazines and websites to advertise the products. She exploits the Social Media ( SM) to sell the products of manufacturers who pay her lavishly for her endorsements.

She has been promoting her new film Hungama 2.0, by repeated entreaties to her fans to watch out for the new version of an old hit song, Chura-ke-dil-mera, where she is shaking her body provocatively in the company of a young male partner. Shilpa appears on the Twitter video in a beautiful dress, her resplendent figure in full display, much to the delight of viewers. I have no views on what may be called ‘dirty dancing’ by some and ‘sublime dancing’ by others. I am not some self-appointed moral policeman but I have a right to make observation.

My point is that if a person is making public display of her body for commercial gains, can she expect people not to make cat calls, at least on Twitter?

Shilpa has been using her Twitter platform to promote Super Dancer show that features her. She endorses a product range that are known as ‘Mama Earth’. She may be charging several lakh Rupees to endorse what look like baby products. She is leveraging her personal appeal with her 70 lakh followers to sell Mama Earth products.

Shilpa Shetty has been a role model for may women. She is a mother of young kids who has managed to retain her awesomely healthy figure in spite of her pregnancies. If she endorses a baby product or a health product, like the Cow milk from ‘The Kate Group’, people correlate that to her being successful in her private and professional life and that gives her endorsements so much credibility. It is the same credibility that is impacted when her husband is accused of making porn films. The actresses of film that Raj Kundra produces trust Kundra because he is Shilpa Shetty’s husband and Shilpa is an icon for them.

It would do Shilpa good if she comes out clean in the sordid saga that engulfs Raj Kundra. She is yet to make a public declaration that she has no truck with any of the business activities of Raj Kundra, directly or indirectly.

If Kundra is indeed engaged in clean business activities, he will walk out and be hailed as a Hero in his own right.

But right now, the Kundra family is in a tight spot and to expect people to respect Shilpa’s privacy should mean that Shilpa should exit all social media platforms. Merely whining about it will not do.

Shilpa’s show of regret right now is centered around her loss of privacy. Should she also not show some concern for the actors who claim that they were tricked into taking part in the Raj Kundra films? That is my question for the readers to answer.

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Dr Sudhir Bisht
Dr Sudhir Bisht
Former CEO, Adjunct Professor, author, independent columnist & life-long learner| Religious Beliefs- Vedant darshan, Bhagavad Gita| Economic beliefs: Capitalism with strong regulatory framework
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